Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Savor the McClellanosity while you can.

First, on Scottie’s big move.

Q Can you talk a little bit more about how your resignation came about today? Was this something that you wanted to do, or did you feel pressured?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I started thinking about this over — more seriously over the last few weeks. And with the new Chief of Staff coming on board, it was a good time to make this decision. Three years would have been an awfully long time in this position. I’ve been at this for a long time. I didn’t need much encouragement to make this decision, even though you all kept tempting me.

Q Is it bittersweet? Is your announcement —

MR. McCLELLAN: No, not at all. The President and I had a very good discussion about this earlier this week, and I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my life. I’ve been very honored to be a part of this team, and to serve the President.


Q When did you go and tell the President you were planning to resign?

MR. McCLELLAN: Earlier this week.

Q Can you give us a date?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, Monday I talked to him.

Q In the Oval Office?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, in the Oval Office. We had a very good conversation.

Q What did you say?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’ll leave it a private conversation.

And more on Unka Karl’s role.

Q Can you clarify what Karl Rove’s role will be?

MR. McCLELLAN: Karl will continue to be Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President. What this will do is it will allow him to focus more on the larger strategic planning, and Joel will focus on the day-to-day management of the policy process. And so this really frees Karl up to focus on bigger strategic issues. He will continue to be a crucial voice and trusted advisor on policy — Karl will, that is — as he has been since the beginning of this administration.

Q So he will have less a policy role than he had before?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Joel will do the day-to-day management of the policy process and work closely with all those councils. Karl’s voice will continue to be a crucial one in the policy process as it has been all along. But like I said, this is a critical and challenging time that we are in, and this really frees Karl up to focus on larger strategic issues.


Q Is having Karl look at the strategic issues born out of concern over the GOP sinking in the polls recently?

MR. McCLELLAN: This is born out of a new Chief of Staff coming on board and wanting to structure the office the way that he feels will suit him the best.

Scottie answers John Podesta’s question.

Q He’ll maintain his security clearance, and everything like that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, absolutely, yes.